Signs of a bad mechanical fuel pump

Written by sarah s
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Signs of a bad mechanical fuel pump
What makes a cruising car suddenly stop? (Luxury Car sportscar from my luxury car series image by alma_sacra from Fotolia.com)

Problems with mechanical fuel pumps can be misdiagnosed quite easily, with the result that a vehicle owner ends up spending more money than would otherwise be the case. Part of the problem lies with the fact that the fuel pump exhibits problems that closely resemble those associated with other engine problems.

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Loss of Power When Cruising

A prime indicator that the mechanical pump has problems is loss of engine power at highway speed. Apart from the car stalling without warning, the driver should also be on the look out for other indications of less-than-satisfactory performance which could indicate problems with the fuel pump. To guard against misdiagnosis, a number of tests can be conducted to test fuel pump pressure. These include a dead head pressure test that measures the pump's output pressure and a fuel pressure regulator test that analyses the fuel pressure regulator.

Problems Starting the Car

The car most likely has a fuel pump problem when it seems to lose power at start up but suddenly recovers and takes off just fine. In other situations, the car simply cranks but fails to start. According to Garage-Pak.com, some motorists are unable to decide whether this is a problem with the fuel pump or the car has run out of gas. Since there are several other possibilities, it is advisable to have a mechanic check the car.

Engine Failure in Strenuous Conditions

The fuel pump needs to be checked when the car fails to work satisfactorily in strenuous conditions, such as when going up a steep hill. Moreover, a car that fails to start when it is hot but responds well when the engine has cooled down is almost certainly having a problem with the fuel pump. To avoid significant repair and replacement costs, it is advisable to consult a mechanic at the earliest sign. Some motorists might choose to ignore this problem as it tends to be intermittent, but the end result could be a huge expense that was otherwise avoidable.

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